Do you get frustrated easily? Even if not, you still get frustrated with some things. How you handle frustration can make a big difference in your life. Let’s explore some ways for how to deal with frustration.
I was leaving my daughter’s high school volleyball game the other day and she wanted to ride the bus back to the school with the team. That was fine. It’s pretty common practice. I said I would pick her up at school. It took me 10 minutes to get to school but I then I had to wait almost an hour for the team bus to arrive.
After about 40 minutes of waiting, I texted her to see where they were. She replied that the bus just got to the other school to pick them up. I was so frustrated. I had not yet eaten lunch that day and it was 7 p.m. Sitting in my car waiting for an hour when my house is less than two miles away just didn’t make sense.
Thankfully, I knew it wasn’t my daughter’s fault the bus wasn’t there on time so I did not blame her. However, I started thinking how ridiculous is was that she didn’t just ride home with me. We both could have been home sooner.
So how did I deal with the frustration I felt? I occupied myself with something else. I took my mind off of my frustration and focused my energy elsewhere. What did I do? I took out my iPad and wrote a blog post. It kept me focused on one thing so I couldn’t worry about the other for which I had not control anyway.
Things happen at work every day for which you could get frustrated. A customer may not make a payment on time. A co-worker may not deliver on a promise. You may get passed over for promotion or not receive the raise you wanted. You may delete a document on which you’ve spent a lot of time and realize that it wasn’t saved.
How do you deal with frustration?
The Blame Game
Do you blame others? Do you blame yourself? Blaming someone isn’t the answer. Blame does no good. It doesn’t solve problems. It only causes more. Instead of blaming others or yourself, simply learn from the situation. Let it go and just accept that it happened and do what you can to not let it happen again.
Occupy Your Mind
When I was waiting for the team bus to arrive at school, instead of getting update and losing my temper, I occupied my mind by writing. I know that if I’m going to write quality material that someone will want to read, I’ve got to have a clear mind. So, I cleared my mind and thought about what I was writing.
You can do the same thing when you’re frustrated. Never react. You’ll likely regret what you say or do. Stay calm and do something else. If you’re waiting for a co-worker to respond to a question or meet a deadline, instead of staring at the phone or calling your co-worker repeatedly asking why he hasn’t responded, do something else. There is some other project that needs your attention.
If you do something else, you will focus on that project and put your frustration to the back of your mind. Some people work out frustration through exercise. They either run or lift weights. That can be difficult to do during a work day but you could go for a short walk outside or go get a cup of coffee. It’s best though to force your mind to think about other things.
Successful companies and professionals learn from mistakes and tragedies. The only way to learn from a mistake is to analyze that the cause of the mistake and people’s reactions to the mistake. If you want to continue being frustrated, don’t do anything and the same thing will happen again. But, if you want to keep the same thing from happening again, learn from it.
What caused the frustrating event to occur? Could you have foreseen it or done anything to prevent it? How did you react to it? Could you have reacted differently? Could you have spoken up before the situation got out of hand? If so, what could you have done? To truly learn from the frustrating event, you need to answer all of these questions.
How do you deal with frustration? Do you use the three steps listed above or do you have another process that works for you? Leave a comment below as to how you deal with frustration so we can all work towards being better.